Last year, while we Americans were busy overindulging on turkey and all the fixings, OPEC ministers pulled a fast one on us. While we innocently watched football and took naps, the price of WTI crude plummeted from $74 to $68 in response to OPEC’s announcement it would leave its oil production target unchanged at 30 million barrels per day (mb/d).
Until that weekend, oil in the $60s or $70s seemed unsustainably low.
Of course, even before OPEC’s big Turkey Day declaration, oil had already fallen about 30% from its June highs of $107, due to burgeoning supplies. But the summer swoon turned out to be just the warmup for the rest of oil’s big 17-month collapse (so far). OPEC’s Thanksgiving 2014 meeting sent prices reeling and continued pressures have kept crude near its lows (around $40) even today. Continue reading "Will OPEC Be Turkeys Again?"
By: Joseph Hogue of Street Authority
In his six years in office, President Obama has stressed his support for strict environmental regulation. He has expanded powers for the Environmental Protection Agency and has repeatedly deferred approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline System.
One key stat: The number of oil and gas leases approved during the first three years fell by more than 40%, compared to the final three years of President Bush’s administration. Drilling permit approvals on federal lands fell by a similar amount.
In addition to the regulatory headwind, falling oil prices are also impeding drilling permit activity. Against this one-two punch, some analysts are questioning the emergent theme of U.S. energy independence and shale production.
But is an unlikely supporter about to throw the sector a lifeline? Continue reading "A Presidential Order That Could Save Energy Drillers"
Article source: http://www.streetauthority.com/node/30504653
The Energy Report: Byron, welcome. You recently attended the Platts Conference in London, which addressed shifting energy trade patterns in light of growing U.S. export prospects and dwindling exports from South America and Africa. Has OPEC's role diminished?
Byron King: The short answer is yes. OPEC is struggling right now. The Middle East, the West African producers and Venezuela are struggling. The West African players and Venezuela have seen exports to the U.S. decline dramatically. In countries like Algeria, oil exports to the U.S. are essentially zero, while Nigeria's exports to the U.S. are way down. The oil these countries export tends to be the lighter, sweeter crude, which happens to be the product that is increasing in production in the U.S. through fracking.
The east-to-west trade pattern for oil imports to the U.S. has essentially gone away. This does not mean that the oil goes away. It means these countries have to find new markets for their oil which they are doing, in India and the Far East. But that disrupts trade patterns as well. Imports from the Middle East to the U.S. are falling as well. These barrels tend to be the heavier, sourer crude that U.S. refineries are geared to process. Continue reading "Forget OPEC, North American Energy Plays Bring Profits Home"
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/theenergyreport/caoK/~3/Z0sD3BunMRo/15358
Crude oil looks cheap, doesn't it?
Just because something looks inexpensive doesn't mean that it's necessarily a buy. It's very possible for crude oil (NYMEX_CL) to rally up into the low 70s, but you have to remember that it would still be in a bear market. We have seen very few counter trend rallies in this market since it began its amazing fall from grace. The liquidation of the hedge funds and speculators from this market pushed crude down so much that OPEC had to have an emergency meeting. During that meeting, they agreed to cut production by a total of 1.5 million barrels a day. I don't believe for a second that they are going to follow through with that plan. I don't think its every going to happen.
OPEC is now between a rock and a hard place, and is being forced to continue pumping oil because of other financial commitments. Most if not all of the OPEC countries have recently put economic programs in place, all of which require further funding. These economic programs are now having to be financed from a lower income stream. I doubt seriously, giving the players in OPEC, that they will live up to their word to cut output levels. They need the money much like a drug addict needs a fix.
I expect certain countries (Venezuela and Russia) to continue pumping as much crude as they can, so that their socioeconomic infrastructure does not come to a screeching halt. As I have said before, trading this market with a technical program and a game plan far exceeds just looking at the fundamentals. The fundamentals always come in late and after the fact. Market action, and market action alone, determines the trend for not only crude oil, but also for all of the other markets.
Remember, when you are trading against the major trend you should always use positions smaller than if you are trading with the major trend. I believe that the conservative play would be to allow crude oil to rally, and then sell the rally when you have a technical signal to do so.